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Nick at Nite is the evening programming block broadcast over Nickelodeon Mondays – Thursdays from 8:00PM – 6:00 AM and Fridays – Sundays from 10:00PM – 06:00AM Eastern and Pacific Standard Time. Nickelodeon is known for it's children's shows during the day, while Nick at Nite appeals to adult and/or adolescent audiences with a lineup of live-action sitcoms, shown with about a ten-year lag, although the network has added more recent shows in the later 2000s, such as George Lopez and Malcolm In The Middle.


History

Nick at Nite debuted at 8PM on 1 July 1985 as a block on Nickelodeon. MTV Networks Bob Pittman president had asked Nickelodeon General Manager Gerry Laybourne to develop programming to fill the time vacated by A&E Network (which occupied the former Alpha Repertory Television Service time slot), to take better advantage of precious satellite time. After futile attempts at original program development, she asked programming and branding consultants Alan Goodman and Fred Seibert of Fred/Alan Inc. (successful as the original MTV branders, and Nickelodeon's explosive rebranding) to come up with programming. After being presented with over 200 episodes of The Donna Reed Show (which Laybourne despised), Goodman and Seibert conceived the idea of the "first oldies TV network." They modeled the new evening and overnight programming block on the successful oldies radio format, "The Greatest Hits of All Time," and branded the block with their next evolution of MTV- and Nickelodeon-style imagery and bumpers. Head programmer Debby Beece led the team to the name "Nick-at-Nite," and Fred/Alan developed the original logo with Tom Corey and Scott Nash of Corey McPherson Nash, Boston, creators of the well-recognized Nickelodeon orange logo.

It's initial programming (running from 8PM - 6AM, seven days a week) was a block of classic sitcoms such as The Donna Reed Show and Dennis the Menace (1959 TV series), and the classic drama Route 66. As Nick at Nite grew, it would add to its library of shows branching out to rerun sk
Nick at nite
etch comedy, such as original Saturday Night Live episodes as well as the Canadian series Second City Television. It also briefly reran the 1970s mock local talk show Fernwood 2Night. As the years went by, the channel's sitcom library swelled to over a hundred shows. For the station's 20th birthday celebration in June 2005, TV Land aired an episode from almost every series that had appeared on Nick at Nite.

10th Anniversary

In 1995, Nick at Nite celebrated its 10th Anniversary with a week long event. Throughout the week, the channel aired "hand picked episodes" of almost every series aired on the network. Each episode was introduced with its history, episode number, and how long it ran on Nick at Nite. The 10th Anniversary on-screen bug was shown at the bottom left corner of the screen for 10 seconds once per half hour show, it was used for the entire year of 1995 as was the 20th Anniversary logo in 2005.

Today

The channel's current lineup consists of 1990s and 2000s sitcoms Home Improvement, George Lopez, The Nanny, and Family Matters, 'The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air which air every night.

In 2004, Fatherhood; an animated series based on the book Fatherhood by Bill Cosby; was also added to the line up but then pulled from the line up upon its cancellation. In April 2005, Nick at Nite premiered a reality series, The Search For The Funniest Mom In America, in which mothers from across the country competed to win $50,000 and a chance to develop a show for Nick at Nite. The winner of the competition was Darlene Westgor. In August 2005, another original series, Hi-Jinks premiered, where parents pull pranks on their children. A recent second installment of "Funniest Mom in America", hosted by Katey Sagal aired, beginning 12 April 2006. Nick at Nite also began broadcasting a new animated mini-sitcom entitled At The Poocharelli's, in mid-2006. In June 2007, Nick at Nite began airing a game show called Bet the House.

Nick at Nite has also spun off a niche network, TV Land, which features a variety of rerun programming. The networks were operated together until 17 December 2006, when Nickelodeon began overseeing Nick at Nite, and "Nick at Nite's TV Land" became "TV Land". On 13 February 2006, the Latin American version of Nickelodeon started broadcasting Nick at Nite for the first time. Since January 2007, the network has aired shows like ALF, Happy Days, Mork and Mindy, The Munsters, Bewitched, I Dream of Jeannie, Growing Pains, The Facts of Life, Diff'rent Strokes, Kenan and Kel, Clarissa Explains It All, Get Smart, Perfect Strangers, and more; which have been broadcast in Latin American local networks and other cable channels. Although the Latin American Nickelodeon was born in the mid-1990s, it had never carried the Nick at Nite block before.[1]

&nbsp In 2007, the Nick at Nite logo changed the color from blue to orange thus creating a match with Nickelodeon's colors. On 1 September 2007, a new logo similar to the current Nickelodeon logo but in the shape of a crescent moon, was introduced.

Starting 5 July 2009, Nick at Nite's start time will move to 8pm, and Malcolm in the Middle. In August, Glenn Martin D.D.S. will be released. In September Everybody Hates Chris will be added to the line-up. [1]

Programming

Main article: List of programs broadcast by Nick at Nite.

Original programming

Nick at Nite has also occasionally experimented with creating its own shows, sometimes with bizarre and surrealistic results. In 1988, the channel had a contest called the Do It Yourself Sitcom Special, where viewers could create their own sitcoms and send them in and the winner would supposedly get their own show.

In 1988, the channel aired a 30-minute animated Christmas special, the pilot for what was to be an animated series entitled Tattertown, created by Ralph Bakshi. The series never emerged, but the special, later renamed Christmas in Tattertown, was aired every Christmas on Nick at Nite for several years.

In 1990, the channel briefly aired a show called On the Television,[2] a mock TV critic show hosted by Siskel and Ebert-type characters and featured bizarre, sometimes disturbing clips from parodied TV shows supposedly beginning that week.

In the early 1990s, a special made up of old TV commercials was aired only once, but the idea of showing old commercials would be rehashed by the network on several other shows and eventually become a staple of offshoot channel, TV Land. There was one special that was promoted as a TV dad quiz. The host walked through a "typical TV Home", and quizzed the viewers at home with trivia about classic TV dad clichés. At one point, the host told the viewers to connect pictures of TV dads with their appropriate TV moms displayed on the screen with a magic marker. At the end of this segment he mentions that he forgot to tell the viewers to place a piece of plastic over their screen while doing this and made jokes about the viewers futilely trying to clean the magic marker off their screens for the rest of the show.

In 1991, Nick at Nite created its own sitcom based around the rerun genre it had pioneered. The sitcom, named Hi Honey, I'm Home! after the cliché phrase used by TV dads addressing their TV wives when returning home in the evenings from work, was about a 1950s sitcom family, the Nielsens. The family's show has been removed from syndication and they are forced to leave TV Land and move into a real 1990s suburban neighborhood. Once there, the family is repeatedly confronted with culture shock. The show aired on ABC on Fridays during the network's TGIF lineup, and then would "rerun" on Nick at Nite the following Sunday nights.

In 2008, the channel announced that it was making a remake of the 1990s game show Nickelodeon GUTS called My Family's Got GUTS for families, as well as hosting a dog competition show: [2]. My Family's Got GUTS eventually premiered on Nickelodeon in September 2008.

In 2009, Nick at Nite will release a new "claymation" series called Glenn Martin D.D.S. which is set for release in August 2009.

Marathons

Programming marathons were an innovation that began with Nick at Nite in 1985. Working together in college radio at WKCR-FM (Columbia University, New York) Fred/Alan's Alan Goodman & Fred Seibert saw the ratings success of radio marathons featuring Ludwig van Beethoven, John Coltrane, and Charles Mingus. As the Nick at Nite "oldies" format was adapted from radio, they suggested the multi-hour (sometimes multi-day) marathon might also work with television programming. The marathon format proved successful and marathons became a ratings boosting staple of cable television networks for over two decades.

During the week of Halloween 1990, the network held a special contest, hosted by game show host Wink Martindale, in which a marathon of the show Alfred Hitchcock Presents was shown. The at home viewers were supposed to keep a running total of the total number of deaths on the show. At the end of the marathon the persons who had gotten the total number right were entered into a drawing to win a prize. As Martindale said "It's kind of like guessing the number of jellybeans in a jellybean jar, but instead of jellybeans, you're using cadavers!"

When new shows are added to the line-up, they are usually accompanied by some kind of marathon complete with logo and sometimes hosted by a star from the show. For instance, when Newhart was added, the channel also acquired Bob Newhart's short-lived third sitcom Bob, and showed a programming block entitled "Bob's Bob, Bob Newhart, Newhart Marathon" and showed the two shows and The Bob Newhart Show which it already had the rights to, in a programing block hosted by Bob Newhart. When I Love Lucy joined Nick-at-Nite in 1994, "Nick-at-Nite Loves Lucy" marathon aired all week which showed every Lucille Ball series (I Love Lucy, The Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour, The Lucy Show, Here's Lucy, and Life With Lucy). When some older shows were retired they would also frequently have a marathon send-off. For instance, when a long rerunning show on the channel Mister Ed (from the channel's inception in 1985 to 1993) was finally retired, there was an all-weekend marathon of the show called "Au Revoir Mister Ed!" as well as a similar send-off for The Donna Reed Show, which ran on the channel even longer (1985-1994). "My Three Sons" was sent off the night Daylight Savings Time ended, permitting two extra episodes in the marathon, called "Night of the Setting Sons."

During the summer months of the late 1990s the station for a while created a programing block called "Vertivision" (later, "Block Party Summer") during which a different series was shown in a three-hour block each night of the week. In the first year, commercials referred to the nights as "Mary Mondays, Lucy Tuesdays, Bewitched Be-Wednesdays, Jeannie Thursdays, and Sgt. Joe Fridays" (for The Mary Tyler Moore Show, I Love Lucy, Bewitched, I Dream of Jeannie, and Dragnet, respectively). With the passing years, the summer blocks shifted to include series newly in the Nick at Nite repertoire.

Other seasonal scheduling blocks were also not uncommon such as Christmas-themed blocks during late December, Thanksgiving-themed blocks in November, and Valentine's themed episodes in February. From 1989 until 1998 on New Year's Eve, the channel would host "Nick at Nite's (year) Rerun/Classic TV/TV Hits Countdown" hosted by longtime countdown radio DJ, Casey Kasem. Kasem would spend noon until 12:30 a.m. on New Year's Eve Day counting down the 25 "most classic" episodes of the TV shows currently airing on Nick at Nite determined by viewers at home, revealing the #1 episode at midnight.

Another famous scheduling block was the "Lucy: Queen of Comedy" block which ran on Saturday nights from June 4th, 1994 to May 3rd, 1996. The line-up consisted of I Love Lucy, The Lucy Show, and The Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour, which were all airing on the network at that time.

In the mid-1990s, another programming block entitled "Very, Very Nick at Nite" which centered around a theme each Saturday night, such as "Very Very Mary" with four classic Mary Tyler Moore Show episodes.

In November 2006, Nick at Nite was proud to continue Nickelodeon's "Best Day Ever" marathon, 24 hours of SpongeBob SquarePants which, at the end of the marathon, led to a new episode with the same name.

Commercials

Nick at Nite has used a myriad of unusual and unorthodox commercials, logos and, promotions. Alan Goodman & Fred Seibert assembled a team of highly imaginative writer/producers, modeled on their original 1981 creative team that had launched sister channel MTV: Music Television. Including Scott Webb, Jim Levi, Dave Potorti, Jay Newell, Will McRobb, and Tom Hill, the group was guided towards created a series of internal campaigns to emphasize the seeming paradox of a contemporary network setting that programmed reruns from the 1960s. A series of five "promises" were organized into four 30 second spots each hour, each emphasizing an attribute of the innovative programming format.

In 1986, the channel began running a few different animated 10 minute channel identifications with a similar premise that all had vastly different endings, produced by Eli Noyes & Kit Laybourne, and the Fred/Alan agency. One of them was of a couple who would bring objects for a living room onto the screen including a couch and a television then sit down in front of the TV. The male would click the remote and something bizarre would happen, such as a gorilla appearing. Before the commercial was over the Nick at Nite logo would appear somehow tied to the premise of the commercial. Others were either a woman setting up her backyard behind a "city", which was made of cardboard, or a man setting up his bedroom, and then the unusual happening. These idents were used in many different variations until 1991 when they were discarded, and replaced with updated and newer idents(see paragraph below).

Throughout most of the 1990s, Nick at Nite started running a wide variety of idents. These were made with almost every imaginable technique from limited animation, to claymation and stop motion, to original live action and stock footage. Almost every commercial had a different jingle professing Nick at Nite as being "A TV Viewer's Dream" for "the TV generation" and as coming from a place called TV Land ("Hello Out there, from TV Land!"), and promoting "Better Living Through Television" and proclaimed itself curator of "Our Television Heritage", although these claims were always somewhat tongue in cheek. They would also create sarcastic commercials for shows on their network: an announcer's voice would discuss the series, accompanied by clips and music, sometimes the show's theme song. The commercials would use an actor's line or expression and take it out of context to create a new subversive meaning. The channel still uses this technique today, although often in a more hybrid way. A popular take-off of the Michelob Light commercial; "The Night belongs to Nick" ran for a short period of time before being taken off because of copyright woes. One series of promos had Dick Van Dyke (whose own '60s sitcom was a mainstay of the channel in the '90s) depicted as "President of Nick at Nite".

The early '90s also saw the addition of Nick at Nite's mascot, Dixie the TV Land Pixie. For a time, the network would also play a short bumper called "Milkman", about a milkman who would distribute wholesome advice to customers on his milk delivery route. In 1995, on the occasion of the network's 10th anniversary, a tribute to the commercials throughout the network's existence was aired and hosted by former network President Rich Cronin.

The channel also had a unique way of telling viewers what shows were about to play next. Beginning as only an announcer reading off that evening's block of shows and the times they would be on while the list was displayed and music was played, this simple concept would be revised and re-revised many times over. At one point a television with objects and people from the show scrolling by (for instance, for Get Smart a shoe phone, gun, and Max and 99) would appear on the screen while the announcer read off the show and time. The time that the show was on would be displayed in another box. This continues to be changed and updated.

NickatNite2006

Nick at Nite logo used from January to September 2007

The station also had a wide variety of "bugs" or logos displayed in the corner of the screen during logos would be on the lower left side of the TV screen, and from 1998 on, it would be on the lower right side of the TV screen. The network had a variety of bumpers. From 1994 to 1998, the bumpers had a yellow diamond Nick at Nite logo with (tonite) next to it. At the end of it the announcer said "Nick at Nite: Classic TV with a capital C", or "Nick at Nite: Open all night"(which had a animated background of a Diner with the words "Nick at Nite" on top). The announcer from 1994 to 2007, Bill St. James, is used for the premium movie channel Showtime, The Movie Channel, as well as the ratings announcer for HBO. From 1997 to 2002, the bumpers had either a cartoon drawing of a family watching TV, a tropical zoo with tucans or a drawing of moons and stars. At the end the announcer would say "On the place for TV Hits", then there would be a woman's voice that would say "Nick at Nite". Although introduced in 1997, it was used intact with the 1994 Nick at Nite "Classic TV" schedule bumper until 1998. In fact, one bumper had the "TV Hits" background schemes(a city with the Nick at Nite logo on a billboard), and the announcer announced "It's Classic TV", and the woman singing "Nitc at Nite".

Ratings

Nick at Nite is ranked number one with Adults 18-49 for 2008 in total day, according to Nielsen Media Research (31/12/07-14/12/08)--averaging a .6/655,000 A18-49 (up +20% in rating over last year), and marking its most-watched year in four years with A18-49.

According to Market Watch, Nick @ Nite is the top cable network with Adults 18-49. In total day, average ratings are about 1.5 million viewers. It's also the number one cable network with women (18-49). The highest rated shows are The George Lopez Show averaging about 768,000 people during its 10:00pm time slot, and Family Matters is the number two show, averaging 775,000 viewers during its 11PM timeslot. http://www.thefutoncritic.com/news.aspx?date=12/16/08&id=20081216nickatnite01

International

Australia

In Australia, Nick at Nite aired from October 1995 until early 2001. It shared the same channel as Nickelodeon broadcasting from 8PM until 6AM on weeknights and 10PM until 6AM Shows included SpongeBob SquarePants, Get Smart, Sanford and Son, The Courtship of Eddie's Father, The Fugitive, Bonanza, The Prisoner, The Saint, Thunderbirds, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, The Flying Nun, and The Bob Newhart Show.[3]

UK

Nick at Nite was one of the planned, and advertised, stations as part of Sky's new Multichannels package, but was never launched.[4][5][6]

Germany

In Germany, Nick nach Acht (Nick after Eight) aired on Nickelodeon Germany after 8:15PM Central European Time. It aired documentaries, drama series, movies and sitcoms. It used an adapted logo of its American counterpart. Many parts of the block included reruns of Ren and Stimpy and CatDog. This is only on Nick Germany's website, though. Since December 2008, Nick and Comedy Central share the same programming block, with Comedy Central airing after 8PM, effectively replacing Nick nach Acht [7]

Latin America

In Latin America, Nick At Nite is aired eveyday on Nickelodeon Latin America from 10PM until 6AM since 6 February 2006. Shows include ALF, The Munsters, Bewitched, I Dream of Jeannie, Kenan & Kel, Clarissa Explains It All, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Get Smart, The Addams Family, and Happy Days. It replaced the programming block "Fantabuloso", which aired teen series and was very similar to TEENick.

Japan

In Japan, Nick At Nite airs everyday from 8:30PM until 6AM since 4 August 2008. Shows include Drake & Josh, The Addams Family, Charles In Charge, Gilligan's Island, The Adventures Of Pete & Pete, Bewitched, Laverne & Shirley, The Lucy Show, The Brady Bunch, The Dick Van Dyke Show, and Sanford & Son.

India

In India, Nick At Nite airs everyday from 8PM to 12PM since 28 July 2008. Shows include The Andy Griffith Show, Coach, The Odd Couple, Family Matters, Home Improvement, George Lopez, 227, and Drake & Josh.

Russia & the CIS Countries

In Russia & the CIS countries, Nick At Nite airs on Nickelodeon (CIS) everyday from 9:30PM until 1:30AM Moscow Time. Shows include Drake & Josh, The Lucy Show, Perfect Strangers, The Elephant PrincessiCarly, M*A*S*H, George Lopez, and Unfabulous.

Southeast Asia

In Southeast Asia, Nick at Nite started 9 March 2009 and airs Monday to Friday from 8PM-9:30PM (PHIL/SING time). Shows include My Family's Got GUTS, Dance on Sunset, Dennis the Menace, and Heathcliff.

France

In France, Nick at Nite airs everyday from 10PM-4AM. Shows include The Partridge Family, Benson, Laverne & Shirley, Happy Days, George Lopez, The Cosby Show, Taxi, and The Donna Reed Show.

References

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